Friday, March 16, 2018

The Mother's arrival disrupted Indian Renaissance

Savitri Era: Ayodhya dispute robbed RSS of reason #SriAurobindo #FiveDreams #HumanUnity #Auroville #SavitriEra #SavitriEraParty - Tweets by @SavitriEraParty and @NathTusar (from February 15 to March 15, 2018) follow:

Many Hindutva handles keep on singing the glory of Kings, their forts, and empires etc that have no relevance to the challenges faced by the modern generation apart from being anti-Democracy. Protecting oneself from falling into such intellectual traps is important for the young.

Philosophy has flourished both in the West and in India during the last 3000 years, yet nothing certain can be told about the whole creation. Besides, science and mathematics too have their own limitations. So, suspect those peddling Mythology and imaginary rosy grand narratives.

Reading is a lonely affair but one learns proactively through a process of self-discovery. OTOH, Lectures are more of social events with many extraneous attractions thrown in, where communication and assimilation bear the chance of being marred by a host of semiological mismatch.

By installing a person as PM to preside over the fate of 1.35b population, the Constitution of India makes an absurd provision. Modi, however, performing in a comical way with costumes, seems to play Puru in Girish Karnad's Yayati to show how unequal he is to the impossible task.

One can walk on land but for water a boat is needed and an aeroplane for air-travel. Human perception, similarly, operates at different planes and so claiming certainty is erroneous. Even Sri Aurobindo's own statements can be contested. So, an anarchist suppleness of mind needed.

Science is synonymous with exactness but unfortunately at the advanced level it is uncertain. Higher Mathematics similarly is irrational and ambiguous. Instead of as a system-builder, it can be said that Sri Aurobindo helps to grow intellectually so as to be free from fanaticism.

It seems that writing long form is as difficult and taxing as getting freed from the hangover of the harangues it lobs. Additionally, if the whole analysis and documentation centres around some predetermined inference, then its objectivity and neutrality can easily be doubted.

Conceiving one world was an ideal but Internet has amplified its prospects. It is possible to overcome divisions based on race, religion, nation, etc. but language will persist as the fundamental sign of identity. Hence granting Sovereignty to the States in India is most logical.

Sri Aurobindo's ARYA writings sought to interpret and synthesise diverse strands of knowledge floating around at the time. The Life Divine builds a philosophical system but insisting on it being the only one may not be appropriate. Reality can be perceived in any subjective way.

Murali Sivaramakrishnan has dismissed research on Sri Aurobindo "as mere descriptive essays and interpretative monographs." Going beyond the texts to dwell in the free land of ideas is the real challenge; not the past but the future must capture attention.

Not many people in the country are acquainted with Sri Aurobindo's thought and therefore it's ironical to suggest to go beyond his writings. But then, he didn't write about all his experiments and experiences and in that sense the writings he left behind can be termed incomplete.

Shashi Tharoor’s ‘Why I Am A Hindu’ and 'Seventy Years of Secularism' by Sandeep Balakrishna come from opposite political camps. Sri Aurobindo, unfortunately, is conspicuously absent from their worldviews and that's a more representative picture of current intellectual landscape.

Sri Aurobindo had admirers in different political camps and silently facilitated realisation of various Evolutionary goals. He knew shortcomings of leaders and sympathised with them but wasn't opposed to them. Understanding him in entirety without relying upon quotations, needed.

Deeply aware of their exceptional privilege, devotees of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo must stop collaborating with those who oppose their Evolutionary agenda. ["Grant that nothing in us shall be an obstacle in Thy work. Grant that nothing may retard Thy manifestation." -The Mother]

Arrival of The Mother on March 29, 1914 in Puducherry disrupted the journey of Indian Renaissance. With the launching of the journal, ARYA, Sri Aurobindo ceases to be merely an Indian or Hindu; his Global vision ensues. Divinisation of body and a Life Divine become the new goals.

Languages of India are languishing for a long time and Central Govt has become an easy avenue for manipulators and fraudsters. The right remedy is to grant Sovereignty to the States by abolishing the Central Govt. Thus, #MotherLanguageDay tomorrow has added significance in India.

Just like Sri Aurobindo gained much from Subramania Bharati, The Mother too borrowed from Max Théon for presenting an Integral vision of the human future. This Judeo-Vedic paradigm surpasses not only all previous philosophies and religions but also science

Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought, Fin-de-Siècle Radicalism by Leela Gandhi, The White Woman's Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia by Kumari Jayawardena, and The Graceful Guru: Hindu Female Gurus by Rachel Fell McDermott provide diverse perspectives on The Mother

Monarchy and Imperialism used to pursue expansion of territory but Democracy and modernity focus on humanism. Those taking pride in India as a vast territory overlook the plight of its huge population. States must be Sovereign for Democracy and Development reaching the last mile.

India is an overpopulated country; population has grown four times since Independence. Each State with its distinctive language and culture is a nation like in Europe or Africa. It's befitting to support Sovereignty for the States by reversing British legacy on #MotherLanguageDay

Although "Steven Pinker takes on the tribalists" complete reliance on rationality is also hazardous as The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have always emphasized. But access to spiritual insights is neither volitional nor uniform and so mind remains the sole arbiter of a person's actions.

The ideals of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo now occur everywhere across the globe; no special claim of any particular location. Evolution encompasses the whole planet and innovation can emerge anywhere. Ritualistic pull for any physical structure, though a convenience, is a weakness

While Larry Seidlitz lays bare "Sri Aurobindo’s treatment of emotions as the center stage for all suffering, perversion, and obscurity" as well as liberation from them, the elaboration lacks practical utility. Thus reliance on common sense remains relevant

We operate on two levels: voluntary and involuntary. Questions belong to the 1st aspect whereas innumerable exercises pertaining to the 2nd domain are never bothered by our questions and assumptions. Thus, imagining to erect an all encompassing theory is not very promising.

Like Pascal's wager, Sri Aurobindo relied on some basic Vedic postulates and demonstrated that higher zones of reality can be accessed. Examining his claims can equip one with a good deal of knowledge to move further, instead of interminably pursuing epistemology or scepticism.

Central Govt took over the Auroville Administration in November 1980 against its founding motto. Course of events might have dictated such a drastic step then but it needs to be reversed. A resident of Auroville should be elected as its President through a free and fair election.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust (SAAT) Puducherry has turned a hub of malpractices and tyranny. It's surprising that no Govt has been able to move against it or even conduct a decent inquiry. Democratically electing a new Managing Trustee is the only solution but it falls on deaf ears

Overpopulation and prosperity may not be related but overpopulation surely leads to impoverished Democracy as in India. Granting sovereignty to the States on language basis (India as a federation of around 50 nations with max 50m population each) can empower people substantially

History writing has suffered a lot in the hands of the Marxists and Rationalists in the past. Nothing to dispute with your inspiration from Savarkar but examining the whole period with insights from Sri Aurobindo will give a more truthful picture. Same for Subhas Bose. @maidros78

Respecting each person's privacy, choice, and uniqueness is a core principle of Democracy but RSS believes in propagating an one-size-fits-all ideology for 1.35 billion Indians. Nature and Evolution hasn't conceived such a huge project; so Sri Aurobindo's World Union is relevant.

An old fort or a temple may have tourism potential but to limit the future vision for present India in past stones is illogical. Technology has literally transcended brick and  mortar and unified the world. Benefitting from such a situation is real challenge before new generation

Democracy and Civil Society entail that citizens "entrust the power to punish violence to the state and surrender their right to selfhelp" but RSS defies this principle and retains the practice of tribal society in mobilising youth with sticks. Obviously they are no stakeholders

Power and overactive front organisations are attracting more and more people to RSS fold who are unaware of its real colour. Without being a sympathiser of the Congress or the Left, the menace of RSS needs to be communicated in clear terms, otherwise compromising can be suicidal.

A good number of Sri Aurobindo scholars have been recruited by RSS to blunt criticism. With due respect, we expect that they don't distort history like the Marxists nor quote selectively to justify any ideological position. Showing how Vivekananda is different is also important.

Instead of quoting Friedrich von Schlegel or Rudyard Kipling one can derive the most authentic estimation of Indian culture and religion from Sri Aurobindo's writings. In fact there is no one who can judge or offer any critical assessment of his pronouncements barring caricature.

1. The Indian Imagination by KD Verma
2. The Political Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo by VP Varma
3. Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy of Social Development by Ramnath Sharma
4. Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo by RS Misra
5. Sri Aurobindo and the Theories of Evolution by RS Srivastava

Most on Twitter today are part of some organisation or ideology and so only a very few voice independent opinion. Sri Aurobindo wrote under special circumstances; as resistance to Colonial rulers. Therefore, he needs to be read in context. Still his philosophy remains unsurpassed

Syllabus content has so much of power that even Sri Aurobindo has been effectively exiled by the Universities and public discourse. Availability on Internet of such treasures like The Secret of the Veda is dismissed with a wave of a hand. The Mother's works are hardly referred to

Major works of Sri Aurobindo were first published between 1914 and 1921. It's so humbling when they come handy for combating the RSS bluster, a hundred years later, in 2018. Marxist scholars are yet to understand Sri Aurobindo's potential in this respect.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo fought against fascist forces to protect Vedic Evolutionary ideals. The same task reappears today to stall RSS advances. Having no consistent ideology and speaking in many voices is its strategy. So standing resolutely to resist its temptation essential

Nobel prize can't happen without clutching on to Gandhi narrative. Besides it's not easy to demolish all that has been said in praise of Gandhi. Even saying that Sri Aurobindo was against him won't be wholly correct. How he definitely was an agent of Zeitgeist must be appreciated

When Sri Aurobindo said "Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world" it's not Hindu religion. Similarly Veda means "The supreme Shastra of the integral Yoga is the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being."

Time to get acquainted with what Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard et al thought about content and communication. The era of searching for truth and fixed meanings (or, even definite events) is long gone and hence the chance of reconciling with fluidity abound.

Unlike his famous contemporaries, Sri Aurobindo hasn't been discussed much in public domain. Apart from his voluminous writings and conversations, the part played by him in the Freedom struggle and later in leading a band of Spiritual seekers is a treasury of luminous information

Although Sri Aurobindo is a playwright in his own right National School of Drama has not been able to acknowledge it till now. Plays from 30 countries are part of the mega celebration but Sri Aurobindo's five plays in English are still unknown. Such apathy and ignorance is tragic

Rousseau, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx have presented their own conceptions of Alienation which is generally considered as an indispensable part of the modern civilisation. One good thing about RSS is that its members forever enjoy enchantment and euphoria through group activities.

From Carlos Castaneda's "Erasing personal history" to Jordan B. Peterson's 12 Rules for Life or Amy Morin's 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, New Age has seen many ways. The Mother's Agenda like Jean Gebser's The Ever-Present Origin shows the path

Ongoing Auroville golden jubilee celebration and the 87-year-old traditional Basanta Utsav at Santiniketan Visva-Bharati University both aspire for human unity and harmony. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo however aver a deeper foundation based on Spiritual awareness of interconnection

Sri Aurobindo's tryst with violent methods can be said to have taken place in Baroda when he arranged military training for Jatin Banerjee in 1899 by hiding his Bengali identity. Uttarpara Speech, delivered a decade later in 1909, offers a mature picture where he abjures violence

Uttarpara Speech marks a turning point in the life of Sri Aurobindo after which there is practically not much difference between his and Gandhi's approach towards violence. Just like, his difference with Shankara's Mayavada is finally perceived by many to be no difference at all.

The only way to remove tradition and rituals is to stop participating and promoting. Cultural and aesthetic value needn't delude one into believing that they have no negative effects. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo therefore advocate a compassionate ruthless clean break with the past

What Sri Aurobindo (1872 - 1950) said or did in the context of Colonial rule can be kept aside; how relevant he is for the future is more important now. So, how best we learn from him the canons of Constitutionalism, Internationalism, and Multiculturalism is far more significant.

Faith marketing is not limited to Christians or Muslims. Different Baba groups holding mega Satsang events undertake large scale recruitment of devotees and collection of funds. Now of course pushing FMCG brands has become a mainstream responsibility thus cementing the fraternity

Sri Aurobindo wrote on Gita and Upanishads but it's better to read them as commentaries instead of assuming as his views. Same as regards most of The Synthesis of Yoga. The Secret of the Veda though unrevised and incomplete is Sri Aurobindo's greatest work

Anyone who once chances upon what Sri Aurobindo has deciphered in The Secret of the Veda cannot return to traditional Hinduism since his worldview gets altered irrevocably. That's the reason why most people dread and dismiss this book as unorthodox by an inauthentic intellectual!

BJP's electoral fortunes are on the rise but Modi understands very well that neither Hindutva nor RSS can ever win legitimacy. He therefore, carefully nurtures a moderate face by invoking Gandhi. He can win Nobel prize if he manages unification of Bengal as an Independent nation.

A very impressive looking attempt fired from the Indic template to record contempt for secular-liberal paradigm but refusal to engage with Sri Aurobindo exposes shallowness of arguments. Just firm statements won't earn intellectual or ethical legitimacy.

March 5: A day to resolve to root out prejudice and superstition prevalent in the name of religion. The situation in India today is no different from that of 400 years back. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo alone usher in an emancipatory and Evolutionary vision.

[On 7 March 1914 Mirra and Paul Richard boarded the Japanese liner Kaga Maru at Marseille. After a few halts here and there, the ship arrived at Colombo port on 27 March...The next day they landed at Dhanuskodi. From Marseille to Dhanuskodi...On 29 March they reached Pondicherry]

20th century notion of nation and demarcations will fade away. Most people now have multiple identities and live at or frequently visit different locations. Social Media is uniting people across cultural and linguistic barriers. A Federal spirit forges Sri Aurobindo's World Union

Ideological purity is utopian since genealogical roots are complex and multilayered. Straightjacketing someone's thought or message is often resorted to with impunity but allowing a larger horizon is more rewarding. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo's writings offer enormous scope here.

20th century philosophy and politics form a great melting pot in which The Mother & Sri Aurobindo were giant participants. Diverse shades of theory and praxis adorn the Evolutionary trajectory and Collective Yoga is a great challenge. Marxism needs to be imbued with Vedic harmony

Spiritual development and transformation of human nature was The Mother & Sri Aurobindo's focus but they were modern enough not to encourage traditional methods of seclusion. Instead they promoted music, art, poetry, intellectual gymnastics, along with physical culture, athletics

Intellectuals in India are not aware of what Sri Aurobindo wrote 100 years ago. His role in the Freedom movement is often remembered with other revolutionaries but that's only a minor aspect of his versatile life. Further, The Mother's wide ranging efforts are not much known yet.

There is no gainsaying that Nehru-Gandhi-Tagore-Radhakrishnan paradigm served the nation well in the initial years. From there, next level should be graduating to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo's Vedic Evolutionary vision and not falling into the Savarkar-Golwalkar-Ambedkar quagmire.

Marxist scholars tried their best to keep Sri Aurobindo out of the academic discourse as a result of which their books have lost relevance in the changed scenario. Those infected with Hindutva narrative, unfortunately, are trying to follow the same tactic.

My opposition to BJP, RSS, and Modi has become an additional factor for Hindutva votaries avoiding Sri Aurobindo's oeuvre. We don't have clear indications regarding current political choices from either The Mother or Sri Aurobindo, yet fighting fascist tendencies remains crucial.

Two books, Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx by D.P. Chattopadhyaya and The Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy by S.K. Maitra, helped me substantially to understand theory. Later, The Humanization of Transcendental Philosophy by R. Sundara Rajan was pivotal.

Majority rule mustn't be mistaken for majority opinion being correct. Marxists for many years thought their every move as flawless but were proved wrong. Hindutva enthusiasts, similarly, are too sure of their framework but it's better to err on the side of caution and ambivalence

20th century Science and Philosophy have established that Truth is difficult to grasp. Ancient Sanskrit texts are pointers and traditional interpretations are barriers. Sri Aurobindo has done his best to blend Vedic wisdom and Modern knowledge but further refinement is possible.

By composing SAVITRI Sri Aurobindo has shown that a Mantra can be heard in other languages than Sanskrit. Further Ontological speculations available in Sanskrit texts are valuable but not self-evident truths. Thus, over-enthusiasm bordering on fanaticism for Sanskrit is misplaced

Nothing more puerile than associating languages with specific religions or philosophical system. Humanity's quest for knowledge and aesthetic necessities have harnessed various languages across space and time. They all need to be respected and appreciated; The Mother spoke French

Sri Aurobindo can't be decoupled from Plato, Plotinus, or Arnold; he incorporates ethical values in his visualisation of various Vedic deities. Likewise The Mother's epochal attempt in fleshing out the spiritual significance of flowers follows the best of Western mystic tradition

I was a science student and served a commercial bank with an abiding interest in arts and humanities. Ambivalence and incoherence of my tweets I attribute to my modest education, average intelligence, and limited memory. This, obviously, is normal of human condition and finitude!

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking was first published in 1988. The Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy by S.K. Maitra was also issued in book form in the same year. Deleuze too foregrounded Maimon, Nietzsche, and Bergson around the same period.

Two Upanishadic insights, - Water does not cling to the lotus leaf and Separating the pith from a blade of grass, - are important pointers for arriving at the philosophical kernel hidden within the shell of Mythological fiction. Sri Aurobindo has unveiled The Secret of the Veda.

Be it Herder or Hegel or "ever-living, ever-working Chaos of Being" of Carlyle, deciphering history has always involved dollops of speculation. But for Sri Aurobindo "random seem the ways...Yet...are foreseen above. Infallibly the curves of life are drawn"

Hindutva grand narrative is false and flawed. Hence, coming out of the grip of its religious and political appeal is the first step. Once the jaundiced view disappears, a scientific and rational perception of reality through the lenses of Stephen Hawking and Sri Aurobindo is easy

We have been demanding granting Sovereignty to different States of India on the basis of language under a Federation like Europe. But those spewing hatred against some language or the other seem to be misguided. Learning multiple languages has many advantages for each individual.

Defeating BJP by Opposition unity may succeed but no one has any formula to break the gigantic ideological bonding that RSS commands. Secular and atheist politics have failed in the past. The alternative woven by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is the only recipe to trounce Hindutva.

Hindutva being the ruling ideology in India today is bound to attract criticism but our opposition is not specific to it. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have inaugurated an Evolutionary Integral paradigm  which is against all past religions, nations, and old political formulations.

Indian Constitution has imposed demeaning identities like SC & ST. BJP wants mobilising Hindus for political campaigns. Modernity demands that people enjoy freedom and act out of unfettered choice. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are harbingers of egalitarianism and Democratic spirit.

[David Reich: differences among populations we see today are actually only a few thousand years old at most and that everybody is mixed.] A lesson for all those who are fighting for or against Aryan Invasion Theory which is misleadingly considered as the cornerstone of our past.

Sri Aurobindo challenging the British rule on Enlightenment ideal: [Nalini Bhushan and Jay L. Garfield: Minds without Fear: Philosophy in the Indian Renaissance - Review by Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach, prof. of philosophy at University of Konstanz, Germany]

Edmund Burke's attacks against French Revolution and Thomas Carlyle's lectures On Heroes, Hero-Worship are well-known. Sri Aurobindo's delineation of Napoleon vis-à-vis Hitler is instructive in the context of his contemporaries like Arundale, Gandhi, Tagore, Subhas, and Savarkar.

Notion of power in a Democracy is a bit complicated. Both, the Ruling and Opposition sides hold different degrees of power. Media wields enormous power so as Street protests. Tweets now have become more powerful tools than books and newspapers. A wink can steal a thousand sleeps!

Sacredness, for The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, is to be found or felt in one's own interior space without involvement of any external prop. Further, it's a continuous process with constant vigilance and remembrance as against periodical visits to a place of worship or some rituals.

Ethics in the expectation of future rewards is received wisdom but Sri Aurobindo doubts it. The Mother would advise, Be good for goodness’ sake; that's of course invocation of transcendental values. Each person performs his or her unique role - good or bad - as per soul's choice.

Ritu Sarin awarded IPI Excellence in Journalism 2017 at IIC

Seminar on Challenges of Democracy at the Constitution Club organised by Ananta Balia Trust, Odisha.

Democracy in danger; Seminar organised by Ananta Balia Trust, Odisha.

Odisha needs a new CM and it must keep BJP at bay. Those who agree on these two basic points can vote for the best independent candidate to create a new paradigm of participatory Democracy. Major political parties have become dictatorial and their stranglehold needs to be broken.

BJD is holding firm against BJP and Congress in Odisha on its own without the crutch of Muslim and Christian votes or any casteist polarisation prevalent in other States. The party must elect a new face as leader for 2019 otherwise is sure to face defeat; it's unpalatable truth.

A section of educated youth in Odisha is getting lured by BJP in the recent past. Exploiting their anti-incumbency sentiments is fine for a political party but holding #Odishaparba in Delhi is too elitist and pandering to Odia nationalism can be counterproductive. Beware of RSS!

Of course the language and our Katak version since a slight variation feels like being slighted. No language is static and it's difficult to check distortions but thankfully old movies and songs have amply documented it for the future generation. It's not parochialism but purity.

Watching videos of Black and White Odia film songs on YouTube remains a dream even today. Hope, #ClassicalOdia activists and organisers of #Odiaparba divert a fraction of their energy towards this worthy cause. @CMO_Odisha too should lend a helping hand for this golden treasure.

Odisha before 1936 was under different rulers and its different regions belonged to different cultures and languages. Imposing homogeneity now seems fashionable but is utterly unreasonable. Bordering States and their languages will continue to hold attraction for several reasons.

Heard Ogo Nirupama for the first time and later Akshaya Mohanty's Badhu Nirupama to compare.

[Bijoy Sarkar (born Bijay Krishna Adhikari, 20 February 1903 – 4 December 1985) was a Bangladeshi poet, baul singer, lyricist and composer.] @aakashaath

[When we apply tools of Physics when studying consciousness, we are not doing science. If somebody, who has a degree in Physics, thinks to be treated as a scientist when encroaching on consciousness studies, then this is a deception of others and self-deception.] Serge Patlavskiy

[All political parties in India are rogue entities. The time has come to make political parties democratic, transparent, accountable and open to scrutiny like holding periodical election of their office-bearers and publishing audited account.] -Sam Rajappa

Reimagining and Refashioning Integral Management - Tusar Nath Mohapatra, Savitri Era Learning Forum (SELF) Ghaziabad